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Mobile apps chip away at SMS (3)

By Chen Limin and Shen Jingting  (China Daily)

09:01, January 29, 2013

"Wireless data traffic replaced short message services to become the biggest revenue source for China Mobile's data business in the first half of 2012," Shen Hongqun, deputy manager of China Mobile's data business department, said in an interview last year.

Ning Wright, partner of KPMG China, said the text message services and voice services users are migrating to data, and that the market will be dominated by data in the coming years.

"Compared with some innovative mobile applications, short messages are very basic in terms of display and cannot send any attachments such as photos to share," Wright said.

Additionally, text message services cost more than other Web-based apps, which are mostly free, Wright added.

Analysts said the text message business in China, if it remains in its current format, will face a steady decline.

"One of the ways to slow down the drop in demand for short message services is to offer them as an add-on package to voice services either free of charge or at a very low cost to attract customers with low-spending power," Wright suggested.

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